It was a beautiful day for Joost Somsen (NED) and Anna Busse (GER): both athletes took a strong win at today’s Middle Distance at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam. Somsen had a lead of over ten minutes to his first pursuer, while Busse was even more than fifteen minutes ahead of her first chasing athlete.
Somsen started the day well by coming out of the water in a leading group of two athletes: in a time of 28:28 minutes, he completed the 1.9-kilometer swim. From that moment on, the Dutch talent, only 22 years old, was on a roll. Once on the bike, he quickly took off to extend his lead. Somsen’s 90-kilometer bike leg was completed in a time of 2:08:34 hours.
On the run, Somsen kept the pace up. After 1:18:32 hours he had completed his three running laps around got to call himself the winner of the Middle Distance of Challenge Almere-Amsterdam. He stopped the clock with a total time of 4:00:54 hours. Matthias Kindel (GER) finished second in a time of 4:10:44 and Joachim Philipps (FRA) was third after 4:14:18.
Among the women, there was also one athlete who was clearly the strongest: Germany’s Anna Busse. With a swim time of 28:21 minutes, she immediately laid a good foundation for her victory. On the bike, she continued her attack and when she racked her bike back in the transition area after 2:35:16 hours, her victory was almost like a certainty. On the half-marathon, which she completed in 1:20:06 hour, she was never in danger; seemingly relaxed she ran to her victory, crossing the line after 4:29:02 hours of racing. The Dutch Samantha de Knijff finished second, 15:28 minutes behind Busse. In the final phase of the half-marathon, she passed Valeria Kleiner; the German athlete finished third, 21:35 minutes behind Busse.
A total of about 800 athletes appeared at the start of the Middle Distance. Next Sunday – Sep. 12, 2021 – the World Championship Long Distance over the classic distance and the World Championship Aquabike will be on. The race can be followed via a livestream at www.challenge-family.live.